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Simulating root density dynamics and nitrogen uptake in the soil profile – A simple approach

Pedersen, Anders; Zhang, Kefeng; Thorup-Kristensen, Kristian and Jensen, Lars S. (2007) Simulating root density dynamics and nitrogen uptake in the soil profile – A simple approach. Working paper. [Unpublished]

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We present a 2-D model for simulation of root density and nitrogen (N) uptake for crops grown in agricultural systems, based on a modification of Gerwitz and Page’s root density calculation. A root system form parameter was used to describe the distribution of root biomass vertically and horizontal in the soil profile. The form parameter can vary from 0 where root density is evenly distributed in the soil profile, to 8 where practically all roots are found near the surface. Additionally, the root model has other components describing root features, such as specific root length, N uptake kinetics.
The root penetration rate and the depth distribution of root density were found to be the most important parameters controlling crop N uptake from deeper soil layers. The validity of root distribution parameter was tested with field data of white cabbage and shows the sensibility of parameter choice and that the selected parameter fit with N depletion in soil layers. The model was able to simulate N depletion in different soil layers in a field study for crops with different rooting depth and different soil N.
This work provides a simple root model based on degree days with a few determined parameters. With these parameters it will be possible to parameterise crops by few field measurements as root frequency, N uptake and N depletion in the rooted zone.

EPrint Type:Working paper
Keywords:Root model, nitrogen uptake, rooting growth, root density
Subjects: Soil > Nutrient turnover
Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Root crops
Farming Systems > Farm nutrient management
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
Research affiliation: Denmark > KU - University of Copenhagen > KU-LIFE - Faculty of Life Sciences
Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Denmark > SOAR - Research School for Organic Agriculture and Food Systems
Deposited By: Pedersen, Ph.Stud. Anders
ID Code:11361
Deposited On:01 Oct 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Refereed:Submitted for peer-review but not yet accepted
Additional Publishing Information:Draft for peer-review later

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